Waging Nonviolence

These Worker Cooperatives Chart a Different Course Than Trump's Retrograde Economics

Announcing his presidency in 2016, Donald Trump promised the nation that he’d become “the greatest job president God ever created.” His plan to accomplish this rested on a retrograde economic vision that would “make America great again,” by restoring waning coal and manufacturing jobs, as well as putting an end to the alleged assault on American work by foreign immigrants and global competition.

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Activists Across Nation Unite to Stop Company Behind Dakota Access Pipeline

The company behind the Dakota Access pipeline and many other damaging fossil fuel projects—Energy Transfer Partners—was the focus of nearly 20 actions spanning 10 U.S. states last week. The #StopETP protests, which took place on Friday and Saturday, included a flotilla on a Louisiana bayou, a blockade of pipeline construction equipment in Pennsylvania and a demonstration outside the Texas home of CEO Kelcy Warren.

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The Alternative Wealth Model: Funding Organizing and Wealth Redistribution

In a political and economic system seemingly tailor-made for the 1 percent, backlash against “wealth therapy” — the trend of moneyed Americans seeking counsel through their Occupy-induced feeling of shame and isolation — is well-placed. While the top 0.1 percent of families in the United States possess as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent, money psychologist Jamie Traege-Muney moaned to the Guardian that the movement wrongly “singled out the 1 percent and painted them globally as something negative.”

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NYC Activists Ticket Park Slope Residents to Show How Cops Treat Communities of Color

Anti-police brutality activists in New York City took a trip to a gentrified neighborhood on October 18 to catch white people freely committing the type of crimes that get black and brown people regularly harassed by cops.

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Now Is Our Chance to Build People Power Before the World's Next Big Climate Meeting

Since international climate negotiations began a quarter of a century ago, annual greenhouse gas emissions have increased by 60 percent. As we approach yet another climate summit this November in Paris, the question for the climate protection movement is not just, can some kind of agreement be reached, but how can we reverse the continuing climate catastrophe over the next quarter-century?

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Immigration Activists Set to Rally in Dozens of Cities following Block on Executive Action

On Monday night in Brownsville, Texas, U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen — known as a hardliner on immigration — ruled to block implementation of President Obama’s executive action to extend Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, and create a similar program entitled Deferred Action for Parents of America, or DAPA. Announced in November, the policies will provide work permits and relief from deportation to an estimated 5 million of the 11 million undocumented immigrants across the United States.

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Hard to Believe: Police are Treating Protest Movements Like They are Terrorists

The New York Police Department has reportedly been giving young adults free tickets to screenings of “Selma,” and last month, on Martin Luther King Day, officers with the 81st Precinct in Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood even drove a group of local teens to see the film, which depicts the historic march for voting rights. At the same time, however, the NYPD has sought to thwart, criminalize and defame the current incarnation of civil rights activism underway in New York, treating the Black Lives Matter movement as a threat on par with terrorism.

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I'm a Veteran and ‘American Sniper’ Is Filled With Lies

After watching the movie “American Sniper,” I called a friend named Garett Reppenhagen who was an American sniper in Iraq. He deployed with a cavalry scout unit from 2004 to 2005 and was stationed near FOB Warhorse. I asked him if he thought this movie really mattered. “Every portrayal of a historical event should be historically accurate,” he explained. ”A movie like this is a cultural symbol that influences the way people remember history and feel about war.”

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Must You Be a ‘Work Martyr’ to Change the World?

The following was originally published on Waging Nonviolence. 

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NYPD's Work Stoppage Backfire: Arrest Rates Plummet At No Cost to Public Safety

Members of the New York Police Department are currently engaged in a nonviolent campaign against New York City officials. Almost immediately following the killing of NYPD officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu on December 20, department members began to publicly dissent against both Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner William Bratton.

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Guatemala's Indigenous People Fighting Back Against Exploitation by Multinational Mining Companies

Conflicts over mining are expanding across Guatemala. According to a recent report by Amnesty International, the Canadian government and Canada-based multinational mining companies have played a major role in the conflicts and abuses of human rights in indigenous communities.

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8 Ways to Support Protests Against the Criminal Punishment System if You Can’t Get Out on the Street

These days, it seems like everyone with a stake in racial justice is out on the streets. Students in high schools across the country, including my daughter, responded to the call for #HandsUpWalkOut at her high school on December 1. My Twitter feed is filled with pictures and articles about people protesting wherever they are, including rabbis and their congregants blocking the streets on the Upper West Side and St. Louis football players entering the stadium with their hands up, to protesters blocking moving traffic on Staten Island’s Verrazano Bridge and people in Delhi taking the streets in solidarity.

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What the Midterms Mean for the Climate Movement

The following was originally published on Waging Nonviolence

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Fasting for Democracy: Why I’ve Given Up Food to Fight Corruption

Fourteen days ago I had my last meal — if you can call it that. A cup of apple juice on a flight. Since then I’ve been living on water alone and I’m prepared to continue for days to come.

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Why We Need Vegans Now More Than Ever

It was their screams that woke Donald Watson. Born in 1910, in South Yorkshire, England, Watson’s earliest memories were of holidays spent at his Uncle George’s farm. His first impression of that time was “one of heaven,” surrounded by so many interesting animals who each “gave” something, whether it be the cows who gave their milk, the hens who gave their eggs, or sheep who gave their wool. As a young boy, Donald couldn’t quite figure out what the friendly pigs gave, until one day when he bore witness to his uncle in the act of slaughter.

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Victory! Oakland Activists Kick Police Militarization Event Out of City

On Friday, around 300 protesters blocked Broadway between 9th and 11th streets in downtown Oakland, protesting the second day of the eighth annual Urban Shield convention.

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9 Extraordinary Ways to Use the Tools of Your Trade in Protest

Fifteen years ago this month, the French sheep farmer Jose Bové revved up his bulldozer and dismantled a McDonald’s. No matter how you slice it, this is one of the most memorable instances of a worker using the tools of their trade to take direct action. It all came about because he was beyond distraught at the United States for levying taxes on his beloved Roquefort cheese in retaliation for European farmers refusing to import U.S. hormone-fed beef. “McDo’s ,” as Bové called it, was the ultimate symbol of the destruction of French cuisine, embodying the problems with corporate globalization.

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Detroit Activists Herald Partial Victory as City Regains Control of the Water

On July 28, Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr, who has operated the Detroit Water and Sewage Department, or DWSD, and been responsible for turning off water for more than 15,000 Detroit residents, issued an order transferring control of the department back to the city of Detroit and recently elected Mayor Mike Duggan. Many attribute the change to the hard work of Detroit-based community activists protesting, marching and advocating on behalf of Detroit residents.

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How to Replicate the Remarkable Success of Same-Sex Marriage

Not long ago, same-sex marriage in America was not merely an unpopular cause; it was a politically fatal one — a third-rail issue that could end the career of any politician foolish enough to touch it. The idea that gay and lesbian couples would be able to legally exchange vows in states throughout the United States was regarded, at best, as a far-off fantasy and, at worst, as a danger to the republic.

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Is SCOTUS's Harris v. Quinn Ruling on a New Version of the Infamous Dred Scott Decision?

It’d be more than alarming and resoundingly condemned if any institution in the U.S. tried to take our country back to the days before Dred Scott, when people of color in this country fell under the racist and dehumanizing “three fifths rule.” But  the Supreme Court’s decision in Harris v Quinn smacks of a new three fifths rule by declaring the fastest growing occupation in the nation, an occupation dominated by people of color and women, as “partial” or “quasi” public employees.

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Clamping Down on World Cup Protests Is Big Business in Brazil

On June 12, Brazilian police fired tear gas on a group of 50 unarmed marchers blocking a highway leading to the World Cup arena in São Paulo. On June 15 in Rio de Janeiro another 200 marchers faced floods of tear gas and stun grenades in their approach to Maracana stadium. Armed with an arsenal of less lethal weapons and employing tactics imported from U.S. SWAT teams in the early 2000s, police clad in riot gear are deploying forceful tactics, wielding batons and releasing chemical agents at close range. In Brazil, this style of protest policing is not only a common form of political control, but also a booming business.

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Should We Fight the System or Be the Change?

It is an old question in social movements: Should we fight the system or “be the change we wish to see”? Should we push for transformation within existing institutions, or should we model in our own lives a different set of political relationships that might someday form the basis of a new society?

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Protesters' Delay Tactics Can Stall Extraction Projects

The knock on environmental protests is that they oftentimes only appear to delay the inevitable — be it forcing a coal-fired power plant to shut down for just one day or forcing the construction of a pipeline to be rerouted. But what if those delays really were more than symbolic victories? What if they amounted to something really powerful that actually imposed serious costs on industry? Well, that’s exactly what a new study says.

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Activist Organization Launches Fake 'Gap Does More' Campaign to Challenge the Company's Labor Practices

Online organizing doesn’t create substantive change. Hashtag activism is a waste of time. These sentiments frequently echo through the halls of activist communities trying to understand the role that technology, the Internet and social media play in our movements.

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'The IMF Hurts Poor People Worldwide:' Students Nix IMF Chief’s Commencement Address

On Monday, International Monetary Fund managing director Christine Lagarde withdrew as the 2014 commencement speaker at Smith College after a petitionopposing the decision gathered hundreds of signatures.

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Activism in the Digital Age: Who Is Technology Leaving Out?

Those dumb debates keep happening: Is the Internet good or bad for activists? Does Twitter cause revolutions or not? We know they’re dumb, but we keep having them — which is why Astra Taylor’s new book, "The People’s Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age," is so welcome.

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5 Protests Blooming in Washington, D.C., This Spring

It’s not just the cherry blossoms busting out across Washington, D.C., but protests of all varieties.

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Don't Leave Bitcoin to the Libertarians! Why the Progressive Movement Needs Open Source Money

Among activists one often finds an aversion to even thinking about money. Associating it with the opponent — who has lots of it — they try to do without money themselves. Often, for as long as they can, they try to organize and resist without it, until burning out, quitting and getting into a different line of work just to keep up on rent. But, as the 19th-century U.S. populist movement recognized, money is also a battleground. Today, as a new wave of sophisticated digital currencies are beginning to arise, this is perhaps more true than ever before.

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